As Austin Powers can attest to, “danger” is some workers middle name. Some of us crave the adrenaline rush the comes with proximity to death and thrive in situations of stress and discomfort. Such jobs require a unique set of skills to prevent any kind of catastrophe from occurring. Here we have compiled the 7 most dangerous jobs in the world.
The average first-year Private in the US Army makes less than 20,000 a year. This tragedy isn't the only one that soldiers face, as this daring line of work is not for the faint of heart and requires a level of devotion, sacrifice, and resilience that few other jobs require. But what else would you expect from the warriors on the front line?
Fearlessness is the currency in this profession, and a brief hesitation or error in battle could lead to sudden death, or even worse, the death of many. Any job that trains its employees how to expertly operate a deadly weapon is likely dangerous.
While the salary is slightly better for this profession, the danger is no less imminent. Firefighters not only respond to fires but also to medical emergencies, so they must be constantly alert and focused to prevent suffering.
Some even work 14-hour days for several days in a row before finally being called upon to extinguish the flames of a burning building where precarious architecture and toxic substances could compromise their health. Such labor is the reason why firefighters undergo extensive training to prepare them for practically any situation that could arise.
Structural Metal Worker
While modern infrastructure has certainly made this job easier, working as a Structural Metal Worker is still an unnerving career that anyone who is afraid of heights should steer clear from. If you can withstand the constant possibility of death, then perhaps you can kick back, enjoy the view, and crack open a beer.
The yearly salary is actually unexpectedly high ($50,000), and all that is required is a high-school diploma, and of course, the courage and steadfastness of a God. The reward is high, however, as you are granted a bird’s-eye-view that few mortals are ever able to witness.
Like the first two jobs discussed, the difficulty here is twofold: the perfection required on-the-job as well as the stress and psychological sacrifice off-the-job. There’s a reason why many surgeons develop some form of mental illness and are stereotyped as quiet, mordant, and antisocial.
Surgeries can last anywhere from an hour to an entire day and often require fastidious preparation and hygiene to prevent transmission of disease. Additionally, the margin for error is incredibly low, often described as “scalpel thin”, so surgeons must be constantly on their game. The hardest part of the profession may be how much uncertainty each surgery entails, as no amount of study and abstraction can prepare a surgeon for the grounding, disassociating experience of entering and manipulating the body of the patient.
Working as part of a Bomb Squad might be the single most dangerous job in the world. Every situation is literally life-or-death. It is unclear how stable such a job might be in the future, however, as new technology is constantly being developed to help minimize the human error involved in disposing explosives.
Like the previous jobs discussed, this profession requires unwavering bravery as well as teamwork and flow. Flow is an optimum state of consciousness that allows us to feel and perform our best. It is still being researched but seems like it could be the critical skill involved in training our workers to take on dangerous responsibilities.
Driving might seem relaxing and carefree to some of us, but when viewed as a profession, this line of work can be excruciating, tedious, and replete with dangers at literally every turn. In fact, unintentional accidents are the leading cause of death in the US for people ages 1-44, and almost a third of these come from automobile incidents.
In addition, truck drivers often work long hours and yet have few resources for stimulation beyond the radio and the scenic routes they are traversing. This makes falling asleep at the wheel a legitimate possibility.
Also, truck drivers must often brave the elements in order to assure the delivery of their product, and this sometimes means driving through blizzards and natural disasters. This can lead to all kinds of engine failures, spontaneous combustions, and even being stranded. It is unclear how the invention of self-driving vehicles and drones will influence this career in the future, but surely they will help minimize the danger involved with this underrated profession.
Not to get too morose or abstract, but death is always a possibility and is part of what makes existence so special. Yet, some avenues through life are more dangerous than others, which is why the brave men and woman who risks their lives in these fields should be lauded appropriately. Regardless of compensation, there are often inherent rewards involved in the work to lure the most fearless among us.